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The Preparation of Mathematics Teachers in Colombia’s Historical Context

The Initial Preparation of Mathematics Teachers

The design and functioning of Mathematics teacher preparation programs is a “Constitutional Right”. In Colombia it is oriented by national regulations and interpreted by the Higher Education institutions in which such programs are developed under State supervision (Guacaneme et al. 2011). Despite this legal condition, reality and tradition on occasion define a de facto policy that supersedes the “legal policy”. It is precisely this condition that leads to the vision of the initial preparation of Mathematics teachers for lower and upper secondary education and for general teachers for elementary education that will be presented below. Later, additional considerations on initial preparation of Mathematics teachers will be presented.

Teacher Preparation for Lower and Upper Secondary Education

In the development of the current Constitution, enacted in 1991, laws[1] were established that define the bases for the transformation of initial and continuing teacher education. Thus, for example, these laws, their decrees and resolutions: delegate the academic and professional preparation of teachers to the universities and professional institutions of Higher Education, give the name "licentiate” to graduates of an undergraduate program in education who work professionally as teachers, define a Register of Teachers used to rank teachers according to their academic and professional background and experience, require that educator preparation programs should fulfill quality accreditation processes, and establish Mathematics as one of the nine required and fundamental areas of General and Upper Secondary Education.

It is precisely a look at the regulations of the last two decades that governed the preparation of teachers in Colombia (Guacaneme et al. 2011) that permits us to recognize, among others, the following descriptions and reflections.

  • [1] Law 30 in1992, Law 115 in 1994 and Law 1188 in 2008 (also known as the registration ofqualified Higher Education programs).
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